Anti-corruption demonstrations will reportedly take place in Guatemala City and other cities on Monday, January 14, and Tuesday, January 15, to protest President Jimmy Morales' move to revoke the mandate of the UN-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). The demonstration in Guatemala City is set to begin at Reforma Avenue in Zona 10 (Calle Mariscal Cruz) and end at the Constitutional Court. Additional demonstrations are planned in San Juan Ostuncalco (Quetzaltenango department), Cunén (Quiché department), Ixcán (Quiché department), Santa Cruz del Quiche (Quiché department), San Miguel Ixtaguacán (San Marcos department), San Carlos Sija (Quetzaltenango department), Cobán (Alta Verapaz department), Santa Elena (Petén department), and the Franja Transversal del Norte region.
Protesters have also set up roadblocks nationwide to hinder traffic flow on roads and highways, including on CA-1 West, CA-1 East, CA-2 West, CITO-180, CA-9 North, CA-10 East, CA-11 East, CA-13 North, and CA-14 North. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are expected near the demonstrations.
The CICIG was formed in 2006 when the UN and Guatemala signed an agreement to establish an independent, international body that would investigate and charge serious crime in the country. The CICIG was successful in prosecuting high-profile cases, including extrajudicial killings, drug trafficking, fraud, and a government conspiracy and corruption scandal that involved then-President Otto Pérez Molina and Vice President Roxana Baldetti. The investigation resulted in their resignations and arrests.
The CICIG also sought to charge President Jimmy Morales and his family members with illegal campaign financing and graft. Anti-corruption protests began in Guatemala in mid-2018, following Morales' attempts to block the renewal of the CICIG mandate.
Individuals in Guatemala are advised to monitor the situation, avoid public demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate protests, transportation and business disruptions, and a heightened security presence.
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